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You can set up text substitutions in OS X in the Languages and Text tab of System Preferences.

Is there a way to choose where the caret will appear after a text substitution takes place?

For example, when I type thx I want it to expand to Thank you |. where the | character represents where I would like the caret to be after the text has been substituted.

Right now when I set the shortcut thx to expand to Thank you ., and I type thx, it gets replaced with Thank you . |

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I don't think it's possible. You might add a snippet like this in TextExpander though:

Thank you %|.

Or use DefaultKeyBinding.dict:

{
    "\UF704" = { // F1
        "t" = {
            "h" = {
                "x" = (insertText:, "Thank you .", moveBackward:);
            };
        };
    };
}
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